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It's been years since I watched Saturday Night Live, and until I found out that Pete Davidson was dating Ariana Grande, I had no idea who he was. I did, however, like him on sight. In spite of the crazy bleached blond hair, he looked very much like the boy next door. He seemed like the kind of kid you'd go to high school with; his goofy grin and his friendly gaze just was so appealing, and much as I'm not Ariana Grande's hugest fan, there was something that seemed instantly likable about him.
That said, I did feel as though he and Ms. Grande rushed things - as today's Hollywood elite frequently does - and that is quite probably why things crashed between them. It's unfortunate, but it does happen.
However, with that said, Davidson has had a really rough year, and what's happening to him right now is not fair.
As we all know, Davidson and Grande broke up earlier this year and while both of them tried to handle the breakup with as much grace as one can muster when going through something painful under public scrutiny, Davidson and Grande both still ended up getting hit fairly regularly by trolls. Davidson continues to be trolled, and it would appear that would become an ongoing issue for him.
Mr. Davidson made a joke - and later apologized - about veteran Dan Crenshaw, who wears an eyepatch as a result of injuries he received while on duty in Helmand province in Afghanistan. It takes a lot of guts to admit you've screwed up somewhere along the way, and the fact that he apologized to Crenshaw in person speaks highly about the content of his character. There are quite a few people in today's world that would think nothing of ducking the person or even, if they decided to apologize, shooting the person a text with an apology. Face to face apologies seem to be increasingly rare, and Pete Davidson's apology to Crenshaw seemed heartfelt.
In early November, Davidson seemed to be making fun of the rapid progress and decline of his and Grande's relationship when Jonah Hill was hosting the show. Davidson looked at singer Maggie Rogers and then asked if she wanted to get married.
It was kind of a dumb move, really. If there was any way he could have potentially caused some bad blood in the aftermath of his breakup with Grande, that was potentially a really potent way to do it. Unwittingly, sure, but with the online power of the Arianators - Ariana Grande's fan base - he may as well have painted a target on his back.
Here's the thing: people who have just been through a breakup, whether it's been mutual, pleasant or otherwise, will sometimes say things that are not all that cool. Heck, sometimes people will say things that aren't that well thought out even without a breakup occurring. We all know that. Unfortunately, Pete Davidson does live life in the public eye and that makes everything he says or does under that much more scrutiny.
Things appear to have come to something of a head, however, on December 3 when Davidson hit Instagram and said, "I'm trying to understand how when something happens to a guy the whole entire world just trashes him without any facts or frame of reference," appearing to address his breakup.
By December 15 - early Saturday, in fact - Davidson hit Instagram once more to say, "i really don't want to be on this earth anymore. i'm doing my best to stay here for you but i actually don't know how much longer i can last. all i've ever tried to do was help people. just remember i told you so."
As one might expect, this post prompted a wellness check from the police, and hours later, Davidson appeared on Saturday Night Live, showing up in two segments. One of these was pre-recorded.
Here's What the Trolls Need to Know
You don't kick a guy when he's already down. What Davidson continues to go through could happen to all of us, and kicking him further is unacceptable. What Davidson and anyone else struggling with mental health challenges need to remember is that there is always - always - someone, somewhere, who will elevate you above the madness.
We got your back, Pete Davidson. Hang in there.